11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters

In case you were wondering there for a second, that I only had to complain about the women, let me put your minds at ease.

No.

I have so many things I can complain about.

So here are:

“11 Pet Peeves about Male Characters”,

or “I’m here to complain about MORE things”.

1. The Sexy Asshole ~
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone likes confidence. But, when that confidence turns to arrogance and general asshatery, nobody likes it. Especially when it comes from the protagonist/love interest. Most wouldn’t even date this guy, but here is his co-protagonist, falling madly in love with him. Now, I’m not against some sass in my protagonist. But it’s sass. Not ass.

2. The Love-at-First-Sight Guy ~
He doesn’t know her name, he doesn’t even know her astrological sign, and yet, he is in love. He has seen something​ in her eyes, in her aloof loneliness, that he has never seen anywhere else. This is the one for him. Why bother with pesky things like “personalities”, and “opinions”? Why get to know her? He has learned all he needs to know from her silence. From a distance.

3. The Tantrum guy ~
He is a man. Not only is he a man, but he’s a manly man. How do we know this? Because every room he is in is a western saloon. A fight is always about to happen, disaster is just around the corner, and for what? His drink had an ice cube too many. He can only show he’s manly by punching things and killing things. He has no other characteristics than a flaring temper and his manly manliness.

4. The Spoiled Brat ~
He has had a tough life, everything is just so difficult for him, so very tough. Nothing goes his way.
Or does it?
This guy has everything. Does he need to complain about the minor setbacks in his life? No. But he does anyway. He’s not an underdog. He’s just a bitch. He complains about the smallest of things that don’t even matter.
He’s being whiny. And annoying.

5. The Perfect Guy ~
He’s the most beautiful guy around, he’s the tallest man. You can hear angels sing whenever he walks in a room, and the clouds part to rain sunshine on him.
He’s the perfect guy. Charming, romantic, smart.
Maybe he’s a little too perfect. Unrealistically so. There is no other guy like him in the whole book and the reader is constantly reminded of his perfection.

6. The Womaniser ~
This guy has slept with everything that he can sleep with. Everyone is a potential lover. Until he meets the one. The one who will tie him down and show him a different life. She’s unlike any other girl he’s ever met, and he wants to settle down with and forget his promiscuous ways. Because that’s how people work, that’s how people change. Overnight. Just cause.

7. The Statue ~
This is another example of the manly man, but instead of being angry and punching things, the statue feels nothing. He’s just there to be stoic, understanding, and a pillar of support. Men don’t feel anyway, that is known. Real men don’t bother themselves with feelings, or tears.
Without feelings though, there is no character growth, no conflict, no fun. If he’s not gonna feel anything, what’s the point of hurting him? I mean writing him.
Damn autocorrect.

8. The Walking Hard-on ~
Unlike the womaniser, this character has no luck with the other sex (or the same sex), and yet, sex is the only thing he can think about, the only topic he’s willing to talk about. We all know men only think of sex as it is, right? It’s not like they have other worries and problems. Just sex. 24/7. Nothing else.

9. The Comic Relief Bestie ~
He’s there to throw jokes at the reader, to ease the tension, but that’s the only thing he’s there for. To crack jokes. He has no life outside being funny, no other purpose in the story, unless he dies half way through. But he can’t even do that, because then all the humour would be gone from the story. Because all of it rests on his shoulders.

10. The Gay Bestie~
Girls can only hang out with guys if they are gay, or else the writer is obligated to make them a love interest. They just gotta. But if the bestie plays for a different team, the female protagonist is safe to swoon over her counterpart.
And usually, these characters aren’t even fleshed out properly. Their single characteristic is that they are gay, and they follow a whole list of stereotypes. Why break the mould? Why make him an actual character?

11. The Friendzoned guy~
This guy somehow fell through the cracks and didn’t become the gay bestie. So now he is a love interest. But not THE love interest. He’s a bitter shell of a man, that’s going to make some questionable decisions and cause problems, just because he’s in love with the female protagonist. He can’t really help it. She’s there, he’s there. He needs a role in the story.
Why not just throw years of friendship out of the window, just because now he’s realised she’s a girl? The story needs conflict, damnit, and a love triangle is the only way to get it!

Fantasy has truth in it.

Fantasy is not easy to write. There are so many things that can go wrong, so few things that can go right.

Fantasy isn’t just epic quests, an adventure to save the world, or kingdoms at war. Fantasy comes alive in the little details that the writer weaves into the story, the fine threads that make up the world and the people.

It’s that kid who goes on a quest because he wants to make something of himself, because he wants to grow and explore the world around him. It’s that mother who lost her children in the war, it’s the burden that weighs down on the hero’s shoulders every time they have to make an important decision.

Because they can save the world, or they can be the reason why it crumbles and burns.

Things are not black and white in fantasy. At least they are not for me. Magic isn’t bad, the same way a gun doesn’t kill people. But the abuse of power, the misuse of a tool, that’s what’s bad. It’s a king that can be good and benevolent to his people, or turn into a tyrant after the loss of someone he loved. It’s the grief, the pain, but also the joy and happiness that people experience.

Does it matter that they experience those things in a land with dragons and sword-fights? Does it make any real difference if the protagonist is not human, but an elf?

For me, fantasy gets to explore every day things like friendships, discrimination, racism, but in a bigger, larger, and more magical environment. It gets to present things that people don’t usually want to talk about, things they want to hide away, because people expect things in a fantasy story to go crazy.

But it’s not going crazy.

It’s being honest.

Every Artist is a Child

Life is hard. Life is difficult and as we grow up and we grow old, life likes to slap us and know us down, dedicated in teaching us important “lessons”.

Ever so slowly, we lose our fearlessness, our passion and our wonder. We no longer see the world as a child does, with pure joy at every little discovery, with the need to explore, create and satisfy our thirsty curiosity.

Life teaches us to be afraid, to stay put and mind our business. Life, experience and knowledge help bury that child inside each of us.

But an artist needs those qualities. An artist needs to be a child, to look at the world with wonder and joy, to feel no fear, or anything that can hinder or block the creativity and the curiosity that powers his work.

In his heart, every artist remains a child and every child is born an artist. It’s just a matter of whether or not he will let life and growing old and weary stop him in any way.

"People will never forget how you made them feel" ~ Maya Angelou

“People will never forget how you made them feel” ~ Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has talked about the importance of emotions. And that holds true for stories and storytelling.

Stories in their core are about feelings. What the reader feels, how invested he is in the story and the characters, how immersed he is, how close to home their troubles, and fears, and hopes hit. Stories are for the sleepless nights, when you can’t put down a big because you have to find out what happens next. Stories are for the people you meet between the lines; the people you carry with you for the rest of your life. Maya Angelou was right after all :”People will never forget how you made them feel”, and a reader that has cried and laughed with your story will always come back for more.

Stories are feelings.

Even a story in a fantasy setting has those same feelings. Even though it has knights, and princesses, and dragons who couldn’t be further from reality. Yet, a good story will have the reader worrying. Will the hero succeed? Or, will he be with the one he loves? Will he fail?

Good writing makes the reader feel.

It makes the characters feel alive and as real as the people outside the book. The book made the reader angry, happy, sad, anxious. It gave him a whole spectrum of emotions to experience. Emotions that blew up in his mind and his heart like fireworks. If a story made him cry, laugh out lour, or even hurl the book half way across the room, that’s the story that’s going to stay with him.

Stories tag at heartstrings.

Stories are feelings.

~Harris